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  1. He 'c' klers

    Monday, July 30, 2012


    Honestly, this month’s topic, hecklers, is enough to send me into a full-blown panic attack.  Truthfully, I haven’t really been heckled yet.  Well, let me rephrase.  A stranger has not heckled me. 

    I’ve been heckled by acquaintances.   A friend of a friend. He died.  Not as a result of heckling me, but he died.  He was one of those fellas who thought that he was doing me a “favor” by “participating” during my little “skit” when I first ventured into the world of comedy.  You know.  One of those people who said the “c” word and then got offended when I didn't smile.  ”What?  You’re a comic.  You are offended by ‘c’?”

    No, actually, I like to use the ‘c’ word, but I reserve it for special occasions like when my dog won’t poop and it’s raining and I’m late for work.  Get busy you lazy ‘c’.  And then he poops and then I feel bad for calling him lazy.  And a ‘c.’

    Really.  I like the word.  Especially when aforementioned friend of a friend used it to describe the waitress who was too slow with the drinks because she was the only waitress on staff that Friday when the other waitress who was supposed to be training her quit!  Great word to shout during my set.  To me.  As if we’re friends.  Not just friends of friends.

    Funny.  One of my friends is going to read this whole ‘c’ rant and think, “She’s full of crap.  She says ‘c’ all the time.”   Truthfully, she’s foreign and I only use it in front of her to make her think that I’m just another crass, rude American.  It’s quite funny.  Shock value betwixt friends.  She’s a ‘c.’

    Allow me to return to my opening statement.  I am dreading the day that I’m heckled.  Here’s why.  It’s only taken me 28 years of therapy to blog freely about it.  I was bullied relentlessly in junior high.  The kind of stuff that they make movies about kind of bullied.  For three years.  And it’s had a major impact on my entire life.  So much so that had I not been bullied, it probably wouldn’t have taken me until I was 40 year old to begin doing stand-up comedy.  We’re talking a good 28 years to muster up the courage to just try.  

    For a brief moment, every time I get on stage it’s like walking into Room 119 at Christopher Columbus Junior High*.  Will someone mock me while I’m trying to get through my little skit?  I have these visions of David B. yelling from the audience,  “Hey, You no-bra ‘C’!” in front of everyone even though all I did was like him that one summer when he first moved into my neighborhood.  Before junior high.  When he had no friends and he and I rode skateboards together in the park and talked about Mork and Mindy and latka from Taxi.

    He’s dead now, too.  Not because he tortured me.  I’m pretty sure.

    But I’m on stage and I’m praying that people enjoy my little skit, genuinely laugh at the jokes, and don’t humiliate my inner 12-year old child. 

    Maybe I’m acting like an insecure ‘c’, but hey.  It’s all I’ve got on our topic of the month.

    *I'm teaching summer school in that very room this summer.  Talk about facing some demons.
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